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Black History Meets Michael Brown

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posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 11:21 PM
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I'm not black. I'm just a dark skinned white guy. But I do have a strong sense of empathy for what other people experience. In the case of blacks, just consider some facts of their history: they were sold into slavery to work on American plantations. From the get-go, white Europeans were masters and black Africans were slaves. When emancipation finally came, this merely released them from their slave status: it left them bereft of anything and everything in the world, and with no culture but the slavishness inbred during generations of enslavement. Now watch what happens when you throw rigged dice into a "free society": imagine those first freed blacks. What do you think they thought? How did freedom come to be experienced by them? It was probably enjoyed for a bit, improved their relationships for awhile, but then over time they probably noticed that life for "whitey" was significantly easier: money came to them because society was structured FOR THEM; opportunities hardly came for blacks until the 1960s. They lived on the periphery; and while on the periphery, as any self aware person knows, you can't help but feel resentment for the 'other' who has played a role in your present condition.

The whole 'moralizing' process we get through school is a practice of CULTURE: were not born with it. Its something that has been strenuously learned, cultivated and then passed down from generation to generation. When blacks were freed, they were freed physically but not psychologically, emotionally or relationally (in their 'object' relations with white people). They were trapped, and instead of understanding what was happening - which requires empathic awareness - the traditional response from white society has been to "offload" their guilt by asserting that blacks should "take ownership" of their situation; as if pathology normalized in all of your relationships over generations, perpetuating and deepening a certain dynamic, doesn't make your situation REALLY, REALLY hard to overcome without outside support. This sort of fact - a psychoanalytical insight, is obviously something well beyond most American minds today. But it is absolutely important in how we understand the impact of history on today's black American mind.

Racism is utter nonsense and it is some of the dumbest crap a human being can do. But we still do it, and we do it because some people simply can't accept that environmental context biologically ingrains pathology: this is what our studies into developmental neurobiology is teaching us: early life conditions have profound effects on later life mental development. We naturally like to think of our subjective minds as "just there", but the fact is they are subtended by chemicals; proteins, and other changes in cellular and inter-cellular activity. Experience produced biological forms. And the mind that experiences it is more likely to experience it again.

The problem is, nothing has been done to help blacks out of this. We imagine its just their pathology, but in fact, it's ours just as much. In order for the "other", the historical slave in this dynamic, to be suffering with a pathology, there has to be an "I" who did something that was wrong to them. Yes. Those of us on the other side of the divide, people of European extraction in particular (even those from non-traditional American countries) often succumb to the white bias to "split" blacks into the "not-me"; we do this unconsciously, undeliberately, but we still do it. Emotions and group psychology consistently overpower internal 'rational' defenses.

The heart if the issue is really the regulation of emotions. White and 'middle class' and upper class people take for granted the historical social and biological conditions which "privilege" them to an environmental context that promotes healthy self-regulation. This early life environment gently guides the self along a positive trajectory towards loving relationships, kindness, a love for kindness, a thrust towards humility. Of course, not all these emotions are present in equal within every relationship. But there is definitely 'more of it' on the side of white culture; and its there because of the continuity and identifications of having healthy historical relationships (in your generations) as well as a cultural identity of being 'white', or 'asian'. Which might create the 'splitting' people do when identifications with the 'aggressor' are made.

Unfortunately, we still live in a rather heartless society; and the people most prone to rigid identifications are people who hold to very polarized and judgemental views of the "other"; they can be on the right or the left. Their similarity is their stubborn resistance to hearing i.e feeling - the positions of the other. Splitting does this. Because when someone is "oppositionally against" you, you can't help but unconscious associate them with "wrongness"; and this is where 'absolutist' forms of speech like "always, never" and other such phrases which completely ignore the more complex and multifarious nature of reality.

The problem with 'political orientation' is that we lose sense of our human commonality. There are things about each of us which are phenomenologically identical. From birth we are helpless and vulnerable babies needing, fundamentally, the help and support of the other - the mother. Depending on how our mother was with us, our early nervous system, primarily the lower brain stem and limbic regions, were formed to feel 'secure' with other people, or insecure with other people.

Now transplant that knowledge to this current situation with blacks. We all know the year is 2014. But the 'dynamics', or behavioral patterns of intergenerationally transmitted 'emotional tendencies', is still firmly in place. This is what is happening with blacks; they're born into hostile worlds with people who behave hostilely with other people; and its not in the least bit their fault! A good majority of them have gone through the same fulcrum of "this environment is scary!" process with their environments. We forget this because we see an adult. But if we could rewind and see the baby who passed through scary experiences, we could understand why they developed this way; and more importantly, how utterly insensitive it is to assume that it is "easy" to get out of it. While on that point, behavioral possibilities do not become possible without being catalyzed by some sort of relationship. It could be something you watched or a relationship you had with someone else. Those blacks who've come into the world and become successful - like the conservative economist Thomas Sowell - owe their success to certain catalyzing relationships or a preexisting relational context that gave them the life that they enjoy.

As a non-black person, I see it as my responsibility to assume a position of humility as I think about and talk about their history. In order to accomplish this, I have to be mindful of my own feelings - the certain processes that work unconsciously when we think in ways that activate binary patterns in our brain: I'm white, he's black. And an unconscious identification is activated, so my emotions become biased to think less sensitively to the EMOTIONAL REALITIES - and the underlying biology which keeps them strong - of the other persons experience.

Overall, whats important is respecting how emotional dynamics are biological realities. Hopefully this can motivate empathy.




posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 12:34 AM
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I agree with some of your conclusions and interpretations, disagree with others, and am confused about your meaning on a couple of points. Below I will pick a few sentences from your post with the hope that you can explain your intentions. I want to point out that my arguments are relatively sequential for this post, and my main arguments will have to be followed to grasp my meaning. Nearer to the end of this post I am more liberal and give more opinions. Also, around the last paragraph or two I am no longer specifically addressing you, the OP. In fact, I am not really addressing you at all, rather I am just kind of using some of your sentences as a starting point. I only took a small portion of your thread, and kind of ran with that, instead of addressing every single point you made. And I apologize in advance if I failed to grasp your true meaning, or if I misinterpreted anything.


originally posted by: Astrocyte

"...but then over time they probably noticed that life for "whitey" was significantly easier: money came to them because society was structured FOR THEM; opportunities hardly came for blacks until the 1960s. They lived on the periphery; and while on the periphery, as any self aware person knows, you can't help but feel resentment for the 'other' who has played a role in your present condition."

"Racism is utter nonsense and it is some of the dumbest crap a human being can do.
"

In the first paragraph it seems that you are basically stating that blacks have good reason to resent whites, or at the very least that blacks are biologically forced to resent whites. Then in a later sentence you denounce racism. If we can first establish that resentment of an entire race of people is racist, which it definitely is considering it is race-based, then it can be argued that the resentment blacks feel for whites is racist. This begs the question, "is this form of racism acceptable, seeing as how it could be psychologically/biologically driven?" And you go on to state, if I interpret your meaning correctly, that whites should be more accomodating to the psychology of blacks precisely because they were slaves who suddenly had freedom thrust upon them. If all this is true, then it seems that you are basically saying that it is not only the fault of white people that black people resent them, but it is also up to white people to do something to change the beliefs of the black race towards them.

One reason this is odd is as follows: you are suggesting that the time which has elapsed since the abolishment of slavery has not been sufficient to alleviate the psychological stresses of having freedom granted to a peoples who had not experienced it before, despite the fact that there is no memory of slavery or no tangible link to oppression on that scale- meaning that no one alive today had to suffer through the rigours and horrors of slavery. It would seem to me that once a bid was made for true equality, ie the Civil Rights Movement, that whites were quick to accept blacks and form a single society, considering that over a couple of decades the two races had for the most part merged. So could it not be argued that white individuals have been accomodating on that scale, considering they have accepted blacks in less than 50 years, while blacks still resent whites after 150 years? In fact, the majority of white individuals in our modern society have been so accomodating that they are willing to often overlook certain occurrences that promote inequality in favor of blacks. The fact that a national group is allowed to exist strictly for the advancement of the black race is just one of many of these instances. And this group has been allowed to exist since 1909. And whites also denounce racist groups like the KKK in large numbers, and show acceptance for and solidarity with blacks in a variety of other ways. White people are generally so afraid of being labelled a racist that they may even deviate from their normal behavior in an effort to be accomodating, despite the fact that their normal behavior would not have been racist in the first place. For instance, a person who never says "sir or ma'am" to anyone could make it a point to say "yes sir" to a black man, for no other reason than the color of that person's skin. Would the person saying this be wrong for that? Is this racist considering the person has been singled out because he is black? Most people do not consider this other side of the coin.

If there are certain factors that exist in society which make things more difficult for blacks, it is not because there are measures designed and instituted for this purpose, but is due more to uncontrollable factors. We even have strict laws that ensure that blacks are not discriminated against. My point is simply that it is impossible to support the position that whites have not taken measures to accomodate the black race, and that racism by blacks towards whites is somehow justified, because it is not. And a question that many fail to ask, precisely because they do not wish to come across as racist, is at what point we start asking when the existence of slavery 150 years ago can stop being used an excuse for certain things? So how much time needs to pass? Every race of people on this earth have been enslaved in large numbers at some point throughout history, and there are other historical examples of freed slaves being freed into the same society which enslaved them. These examples go back to ancient Roman times at the very least, but probably much further. People have been enslaved since the emergence of man. Heck, there were over 20 million slaves in Russia who were not freed until 1861. There are plenty of examples which suggest to me that the resentment felt by former slave is only natural for a few generations, and I would say that past that point you start getting into sketchy territory. In the case of blacks and whites, as opposed to slave and slave-owner being of the same race, that sketchy territory partly involves racism. I do my best to call things as I see them, and I feel that black people are equal to me, a white guy, in every way. And because I think in terms of equality like this, I do not see how it can be racist to point out what we term reverse-racism.



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 01:43 AM
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The problem is complex, principally the cause of historical socioeconomic differences in combination with psychosocial perceptions of ourselves and others.

That said, I get frustrated as a millennial when people see stories about black people on tv and think all the men are thugs and our women are on welfare. Not true obviously. I have a very diverse group of friends and race is openly talked about. Chicago for example is a placed ill perceived by some. Not everyone gets shot or robbed and it has greatly benefited from diversity.



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 06:32 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




Now watch what happens when you throw rigged dice into a "free society": imagine those first freed blacks. What do you think they thought? How did freedom come to be experienced by them?


First off you have to understand that the Civil war was never over "freeing the slaves." Just like the "war on Terror" is not at all about keeping America terrorist free. It was fought for "preservation of the Union." Lincoln said it himself many times over. In fact, he had a plan to send all of the former slaves on ships back to Africa becasue he said that the nation was never going to really heal as long as you had former slaves living alongside former slaveowners. However he was shot 5 days after the war ended and the Democrats just made the newly freed slaves just like the wage slaves in the North. Most of them went back to work on plantations and such for a few pennies a day. Life changed hardly at all for them.




Racism is utter nonsense and it is some of the dumbest crap a human being can do. But we still do it, and we do it because some people simply can't accept that environmental context biologically ingrains pathology


Wrong again. We do it because human beings are tribal in nature. We divide ourselves into "Us" and "Them" whether you realize it or not. If somehow you could magically make all the people on this planet the same skin color, do you think human beings would all get along and hold hands and sing kumbayah? Hell no, we would still find things to seperate "Us" and "Them." Just look at how people are with their sports teams, political parties, religions, etc etc etc etc. Human nature is what it is.

Ask yourself this, if Racism is not inherent in humans, then why is it still around in todays advanced society? Are all of the racist people that are alive today "trained" to be racists by their parents or something? Or maybe seeing as how we all evolved in small familial tribes for the bulk of human history its nothing more than humans being human.




The problem is, nothing has been done to help blacks out of this. We imagine its just their pathology, but in fact, it's ours just as much. In order for the "other", the historical slave in this dynamic, to be suffering with a pathology, there has to be an "I" who did something that was wrong to them.


No it does'nt.

I've never owned slaves. My parents never owned slaves. Nobody in my family has ever bought or sold another person. Yet somehow I am to blame for blacks being "oppressed" like they are supposedly today? I had to stop reading your OP as soon as I read this nonsense.

Sometimes I wish ATS would have a negative star and flag button.


edit on 26-11-2014 by Cancerwarrior because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Sorry to throw a monkey wrench in your well thought out theory,but there are some major issues with it.
1. Blacks were not the first nor only people to be used as slaves in the USA. Before them it was the American Indian and the Irish.
2.Blacks were only the LAST race used as slaves.The Irish had gone on to find they're niche in society and move up.And the Indians were now all firmly on reservations to live or die as they would.
3.They got started out on the wrong foot once released from slavery. They were given money that the Union could ill afford right after a major war,just for being former slaves.This gave them a sense of entitlement that they could have money just for being instead of working for it.
4.It must have been terribly confusing for those former slaves when the US government realizing it couldn't continue to take care of all the slaves,told the former slaves to return back to their former owners.
5.These owners were either dead now,or they were being run out of their land and homes by carpetbaggers.They could no more afford to care for these slaves than the man on the moon.

Now all of the former slaves did not look at their freedom in the same light. Some were frightened by it and wanted to go back to their 'masters' to be taken care of. This was a particular problem with those owners who had treated their slaves decently. Some were just afraid of this new way of living and didn't know exactly what to do with it. They wanted it,but didn't know how to start off a new life. Others had a plan and knew exactly what they wanted to do and DID it. Of those that had a plan you had a sudden boom of black professionals,doctors,musicians,farmers,teachers to name but a few.They excelled in their fields and are remembered for their contributions. After a while,they slid back into obscurity and lived basically on the fringes of our society. They were seamstress',clothes washers,farmers,and low paid workers in industry. They settled in cities in certain 'sections' since the white community didn't want them. In the south,they were still being looked at as subhumans,the seething hatred of all that was lost was still an issue.

Part of all this had to do with how willfully hateful the north had been to the south after the war was over.The north did everything it could to punish the south and keep it from rebuilding. Yes there is the issue of the south coming back for another round of fighting....but all the south wanted to do at that point with what few men had survived the war,was to rebuild and get back on its feet. The north kept passing crushing rules keeping the south down which bred a deep seated hatred and resentment over their treatment. This in time was turned to hating the blacks for all their ills from then. Was it the blacks fault? No,but you know how human nature can be. Finally in the 60's all hell broke loose and the blacks wanted to be treated as people. I don't know how they stood it for that long,but whatever. Either way,they had decided that they weren't going to take it anymore. And so they went out in the streets and fought to make things better. And in time some things did change and become better for them.

Which brings us to today.Once again things have slipped for blacks.The people that were in the rights movement demonstrations have even admitted that they fell down on the job when passing on the sense of pride and the goal of to keep making improvements for the black community.Instead the people have gotten this sense of 'get money anyway you can' attitude.It has been disastrous for the black community. Instead of having morals and goals,many blacks only think of how they can get money as easy as possible. Mind you,this is not all blacks,and many have gone on to be successful in all fields now. But for many,the dollar has become a means to an end.Whatever it takes to get it is alright. Those blacks that disagree do not make their voices heard. Those that excel get pressured to stop being 'white'. This is the old psychological trick of ,if I can't compete,then I'll bring my opponent down to my level,thinking.It does nothing to improve the majorities lot,but they feel the pressure acutely. In time their children fall into the trap of "if I want to FIT in,I have to think of how I get money only",because I only count if I have enough money to throw around. Those that can't get the money become predators that simply take from those that do. Therefore they can wear those air jordans or have that cell phone or whatever,but didn't work for it and don't care what they did to get it. This thinking is destroying the black community.

Whites are not immune to it either. You see white kids that will commit the very same crimes to get what they want and they don't care who they hurt to do it. They watch videos of their fav performers and see the 'bling' they wear and want to be able to do the same. Once again,get it no matter what it takes.

I have been told by some people that unlike whites,pimps and prostitutes are looked up to as idols. They have fancy clothes and nice cars.They give out candy to the kids for future business contacts. That they would leave their kids with Micheal Jackson(during his child molestation charges) cause if he did molest their kid,they would be able to get all that money from it. The kid would be put through therapy and all would be well then. This is the type of thinking I'm talking about. I find it mind blowing that anyone could think this way. But whatever. Now having lived and worked around blacks,the majority of them are very hard working people with solid morals. People that I was proud to call my friends. These are good solid salt of the earth type people that enriched my life. So I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I'm saying here. There are good and bad in every race,religion and nationality.This is just life. But for the sake of the topic,there are things that need to be brought to the fore front and we need to start having some very serious and honest discussions about what exactly is going on in this country before it can ever truly be fixed.

*Disclaimer:this post is in no way intended to be misinterpreted as being insulting to any select group of people.Is ONLY intended to open productive discussions for the betterment of all.



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 08:09 AM
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a reply to: gorsestar




Chicago for example is a placed ill perceived by some. Not everyone gets shot or robbed and it has greatly benefited from diversity.


It's still one of the last places I would ever want to go.

www.blacklistednews.com...



posted on Nov, 26 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: Cancerwarrior

It's safe man really lots of hot girls haha

Breaking:

Two FBI Agents Shot in st. Louis county



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 12:51 AM
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a reply to: JiggyPotamus

Thanks for the response




In the first paragraph it seems that you are basically stating that blacks have good reason to resent whites, or at the very least that blacks are biologically forced to resent whites. Then in a later sentence you denounce racism. If we can first establish that resentment of an entire race of people is racist, which it definitely is considering it is race-based, then it can be argued that the resentment blacks feel for whites is racist. This begs the question, "is this form of racism acceptable, seeing as how it could be psychologically/biologically driven?"


I'm not sure you how I led you to that conclusion. The dynamics of the matter emerge like this; I'm going to describe sequentially, beginning firstly with the originating fact: in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, white Europeans operating through corporations, bought black slaves in Africa, sold them to sugar plantation owners in America. Implied in this whole dynamic - obviously to our 21st century clear-minded hindsight - was a cruel master-slave orientation, where one group experienced themselves daily as "superior" and the other group experienced themselves as worthy of the hatred. This is basically a psychological fact: this is what happens; this is what psychoanalysis discovers again and again in therapy.

Now magnify that dynamic and imagine it as operating in the larger black culture. Just as whites ignore the obvious immorality of their practices (slave owning; dehumanizing other human beings who obviously present themselves as just like you, mentally and emotionally) and consciously experience, or tell themselves, a more pleasant story (we have a right to own you!), blacks do the same but the opposite. They dissociate away from consciousness the humility of being treated that way; and tacitly or explicitly resent whites in subtle and probably common ways.

So this is the story from the 1700s and 1800s America. The whole dynamic was screwed. Some people, white people, pretended to be 'more human' than another group of people. There was something deeply narcissistic with this positions: a disavowal of ones own inherent vulnerability in life and with other people. This is what a patriarchal 'honor-bound' society does. They drown out actual experiences they have (and thus via projection into the other person come to experience themselves as "right" in all that they do; particularly with others who've been unconsciously put into the "them" group) and entertain self-narratives of being better or stronger than someone else. This sort of dynamic is normal in pathological societies.

Now, the year is 2014. When slavery ended in the late 1800's, as said, institutional strictures were 'removed', in the sense that one was now a citizen, but other, determinant and 'canalizing' factors, which basically bring one into society and make one a full member, these parts were still closed off to blacks. The businesses that existed within the existent market didn't see to it - and didn't see the necessity for, an active project to get freed slaves into secure jobs and living.

What I'm actually talking about here is fundamental LAW. It is unreasonable, of course, to expect something to happen which has a low probability of happening. This is one of the popular definitions of insanity. When blacks were released from slavery their cultural and psychological shackles - what today we would call their 'basin of attraction' in the language of complexity theory - were still very firmly on them. This is an indisputable scientific fact, based upon a great deal of research into the topological dynamics of socializing within a culture. Just think of it like this: if you grow up and as you grow up your brain takes in the 'language' of your environment, your very sense of self (the cortex) is deeply rooted with the environment it experiences (subcortically and autonomically). This means other people become AS YOU. For blacks who grew up in each generation since slavery, they have been stuck in a very negative basin of attraction - a state of 'flow' or emotional and psychological dynamics that rigidifies them towards certain type of behavior.

On the other hand, we, descendents of white America, or, on the other hand, immigrants from other European or Asian countries, experience ourselves differently because we come from another category. If were white, particularly if were WASP's, we fall within a different basin of attraction. Again, this is just an 'average'. Every person has their own unique life trajectory, but the existing, entrenched trajectories 'rigidified' as cultural behaviors (such as what we think or feel about a certain group) tend to bring most of us into their respective group.

As to address your question about 'resentment'. The resentment is like a 'emergent property'. Consider the dynamics; consider that without any 'outside' influence, the dynamics self-amplify themselves. In other words, if someone I know thinks and feels just like me, together, both of us are going to increase and amplify that effect on others who think like me. This is the basic, frustrating fact of human social-emotions. They tug at us and draw us into the orbit.

What comes with this awareness, I think and I should also hope, is a sense of compassion and empathy. We all deal with this. Were all stuck and thrown into positions that have really little to do with our 'free-will' and more to do with us being unconscious to the way emotions and identity mutually encourage each other. The mind needs belief to stay alive; and so with other minds like it, all minds work upon each other to increase their beliefs. So as to increase their ability to survive.

Being the case, I do not in the least bit blame blacks for any felt resentment. I think it's warranted and I think, even if it becomes racist itself, it is more justified for them than it would be for us to imagine that our racism - or lack of response to the dynamics which enslave modern black minds - is justified. More probably, there's the risk that people wont notice how present dynamics favor whites and how whites and their status in America is a result of past institutional, relational moral and other complex interactions which mutually enforce one another.

This isn't a simple subject. And this is what makes the just case of blacks so difficult for the other people to understand; particularly if you have low emotional intelligence - that is, can understand how emotions restrict us and cause us to act in morbid ways by throwing thought and cognition into deranged categories. The emotions work deep within us and the mind has all sorts of stories to justify itself.

That's basically how we work before we become aware of it and try to minimize its tyranny in our minds and in our relations with others.

BTW, my earlier use of the 'word' topological is to give us a 'birds eye view', in the sense of analyzing history in light of trends and 'basins of attraction' - how a master-slave relationship between differing people force one group far in this direction --> and another group in that direction



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